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PH has most dengue cases in Southeast Asia in 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has recorded the most number of cases of dengue in Southeast Asia so far in 2019, with 146,062 cases and 622 deaths due to the mosquito-borne disease. 

From January to July 23, the Philippines ranked first, followed by Malaysia with 36,191 cases and 102 deaths; Vietnam with 19,938 cases and 4 deaths; Laos with 2,064 cases and 27 deaths; and Singapore with 1,421 cases and 27 deaths.  

The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday, August 6, declared a national dengue epidemic as cases of the disease went up by 98% compared to the same 7-month period last year.  

The DOH in July had declared a national dengue alert, but the status was raised to epidemic to "level up the response" against the disease. This way, local government units can use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation. 

Quezon province recorded a total of 3,604 dengue cases with 9 deaths since January this year, according to Calabarzon’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU). 

Calabarzon, with 16,515 dengue cases, is one of the 7 regions that have exceeded the epidemic threshold. The others are Western Visayas with 23,330 cases, Zamboanga Peninsula with 12,317 cases, Northern Mindanao with 11,455 cases, and Soccsksargen with 11,083 cases.

BE VIGILANT. Health chief Francisco Duque III urges local officials and communities to practice the 4S strategy in light of the epidemic. Photo from DOH Calabarzon

BE VIGILANT. Health chief Francisco Duque III urges local officials and communities to practice the 4S strategy in light of the epidemic.

Photo from DOH Calabarzon

Duque told Quezon officials in a meeting on Wednesday, August 7, that while there is no cure for dengue, they can stem an epidemic by taking simple measures.

“The best thing that we can do is to clean our surroundings, eliminate all mosquito breeding sites that we can find in our homes such as water in vases, tires, water drain at the back of refrigerators. Check for an opening or cracks in your septic tanks because this is where mosquitoes hide and thrive,” he said.

The health chief also urged local officials and communities to practice the 4S strategy, which consists of the following:

According to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) global risk, an estimated 390 million people get afflicted with dengue each year. Outbreaks have occurred in parts of Southeast Asia, Western Pacific, Eastern Mediterranean, Americas, Caribbean, and Africa.

It is said that 40% of the world’s population live in areas at risk of dengue. – Rappler.com